Submitted to Branson Globe
POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks recently appointed alumnus Bryan Cizek as dean of the Work Education Program, effective during the 2020 spring semester. He will continue to serve as director of patriotic activities, a role he took on in 2016.
Cizek is a graduate of College of the Ozarks and earned a master’s degree from Missouri State University.
Cizek joined the faculty in 2012 and soon thereafter took on a new role for the College as director of patriotic activities. In this role, he has played a crucial part in the development of Patriots Park on campus, which consists of The Missouri Vietnam Veterans Memorial, The Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial, The Korean War Memorial, and The Global War on Terrorism Memorial. He also led numerous Patriotic Education Travel Program trips, including two to Vietnam, the Heilman Patriots Tour for a journey of historical sites in Washington D.C. and the American Northeast. He also took 20 students for the 75th anniversary of D-Day to Europe in June 2019 and accompanied 150 students to Washington, D.C., for the inaugural CitizenTrip™ in September 2019.
Cizek comes uniquely prepared for his roles at C of O, having served in the United States Army for nearly five years. He honorably served in the elite Special Operations Community with the 1st Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment as an Airborne Ranger Team Leader. Cizek conducted numerous Special Operation missions in support of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2009, he was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant.
As dean of the work education program, Cizek will oversee placement of more than 1,450 students as they serve in more than 100 workstations on campus. Each student works to offset the cost of their education, which allows them to graduate debt free. This fulfills an integral part of the mission of College of the Ozarks, to provide an opportunity for those found worthy but without adequate means to obtain a Christian education.
Cizek also will train workstation supervisors and ensure the Work Education Program enriches the lives of all involved. Students at C of O work in all aspects of campus, from farming to landscaping and The Keeter Center to admissions. The College teaches that all work is of value and builds character. Students receive work grades for their efforts, and these grades become a part of their permanent transcript.
“The work program provided me an opportunity to learn skills and work alongside supervisors who genuinely cared and who had a vested interest in my success,” Cizek said. “It is a blessing to serve now as dean of the Work Education Program, where hard work, determination, and grit are the keys to success.”
During his time as a student, Cizek worked in new construction and on the beef farm.
“I am blessed to have the opportunity to serve here,” Cizek said. “I am thankful for my amazingly supportive family – wife Liz, twin daughters Paisley and Railey, and son Henry.”